About 96 per cent of UAE travellers would be comfortable using digital health passports to help restart travel, according to new traveller research.
The study, commissioned by Amadeus and delivered by Censuswide, provides encouraging news for the industry, with 51 per cent of travellers from the UAE keen to book international travel within six weeks of restrictions lifting.
The message from UAE travellers is clear: digital health passports can be a vital tool in opening up travel, said the survey. The study further revealed that 78 per cent of UAE travellers surveyed would be willing to store their travel health data electronically if it enabled them to travel to more destinations.
The survey was conducted in late February 2021 and the findings were based on 9,055 travellers in France, Spain, Germany, India, UAE, Russia, Singapore, UK and US who had traveled abroad in the last 18 months, the study said.
Despite an overwhelming response to digital health passports, the survey also contained a note of caution for the industry with over 9 in 10 (93 per cent) travellers having some concerns around storing their health data for travel.
When asked about the receptiveness to storing and sharing digital health data, survey results for the UAE show:
• Over 8 in 10 (82 per cent) would be willing to store their travel health data electronically if it enabled them to pass through the airport faster with fewer face-to-face interactions.
• 78 per cent of travellers from the UAE would be willing to store their travel health data electronically if it meant it enabled them to travel sooner.
Although receptiveness to sharing data is high, the travel industry needs to consider traveller concerns around the use of data. The three main concerns of UAE travellers are:
• Security risks associated with personal information being hacked (39 per cent)
• Privacy concerns around what health information needs to be shared (38 per cent)
• A lack of transparency and control over where the data is shared (30 per cent)
The survey also explored what solutions might alleviate concerns around digital health data and travel in the future and results showed:
• Almost 3 in 5 (58 per cent) of UAE travellers would be comfortable using a digital passport if it was accepted by most countries and was regulated by international standards, while 47 per cent would be comfortable if only Covid-19-specific data was included in any health passport.
• Just under 8 in 10 (78 per cent) would be more likely to store health data on an app where a travel company has partnered with a trusted healthcare company.
• 52 per cent of UAE travellers said a travel app that could be used across the whole journey would greatly improve their overall travel experience and a similar number (51 per cent) said it would reassure them their information is all in one place.
• 55 per cent of travellers agree a travel app would reduce their stress around travel.
The research is the second in a series of traveller surveys, where Amadeus takes a regular checkpoint on traveller sentiment and concerns to help the industry rebuild travel in the most effective way. The 2020 Rethink Travel survey revealed how technology can help to increase traveller confidence and Amadeus revisited this question to see how traveller confidence has changed since September 2020. Globally, 91 per cent of travellers now say that technology will increase their confidence to travel, an increase from 84% in September 2020.
When asked which technology would increase confidence to travel in the next 12 months, mobile solutions were highlighted as a popular option among UAE travellers, with the top three technologies including:
• Mobile boarding (e.g., having your boarding pass on your mobile phone) (52 per cent)
• Contactless mobile payments (e.g., Apple or Google Pay, Paypal, Venmo) (49 per cent)
• Mobile applications that provide on-trip notifications and alerts (49 per cent)
Ernesto Sanchez Beaumont, Managing Director, Amadeus Gulf, said: “The realities of living alongside Covid-19 will continue to shape the way we travel for some time, just as the pandemic has influenced other areas of daily living. But while there are still uncertainties, this research makes me feel optimistic that we will rebuild travel even better than it was before. Collaboration across governments and our industry is key to restarting travel, but we must also deliver on traveller expectations and work to allay their concerns as outlined in this digital health survey. Travellers in the UAE continue to look to technology to help make their journeys digitally connected, safe and frictionless, and Amadeus is fully committed to playing its part in making this a reality.”
Christophe Bousquet, CTO, Amadeus, commented: “This study highlights once more the key role that technology will play in rebuilding travel. We’ve seen a shift since our last survey, as travellers now place more focus on mobile and touchless technology, crucial areas that will clearly strengthen traveller confidence. It’s also very relevant to see that travellers are open to digital health passports and sharing their data as they move through the journey, once the right safeguards are in place. At Amadeus, we’re committed to rebuilding a better industry, together with our customers and partners.” - TradeArabia News Service